There are two reasons I am posting about a list called “8 Common Horse Mistakes I Want Game Developers to Stop Making.” Number one, it’s a good list. Number two, it comes from a video game horse-themed website called The Mane Quest.
But really, it’s a good list! Most people in the 21st century have nothing to do with real-life horses, and wouldn’t know the first thing about them. So when we see and use one in a video game we usually just think, “Yes, this is a horse, it’s like a car but I can sometimes feed it.” Turns out that’s also how a lot of video game developers (the author aside, since they’re actually a dev themselves) view them as well, because games sure are still making a lot of mistakes when it comes to depicting our larger four-legged friends.
People who know horses, though, can see past that and realise, holy shit, these video game horses have some problems! Like legs bending (or not bending) when they’re supposed to, or horses’ mouths just hanging open for no reason, since unlike people horses can’t breathe through them and so usually just keep them shut.
Also a problem: turns out horses are more like cats when it comes to brushing and petting than, well, what we think horses are like. Basing things like trust statistics on that is kinda busted. And then maybe the most important one:
...the only thing anywhere near as frustrating as a badly animated horse is a well-animated horse that I cannot fucking look at. Let me rotate my camera please.
You can read the full list here, which if you are not a horse person, you probably should. We’re all so intent on making sure that people are recreated perfectly in our video games that it can’t hurt reading up on ways to make sure horses are also recreated perfectly. Or if not perfectly, then at least better.